Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Tompa gets excited that I mentioned Princeton Curator

Referring to yesterday’s post here, former ACCG president Tompa writes (Alan Stahl's suggestions to (sic) Cyprus (sic)'):
SAFE associated blogger Paul Barford believes he may have found a kindered (sic) spirit based on some quotations from Alan Stahl's review of "Studies in Early Medieval Coinage." Before Mr. Barford gets too excited, however, I suggest that he also review Prof. Stahl's letter to CPAC on the Cypriot MOU's renewal.
The letter is here, and seems to have been written in response to something like this.

Two points. [Though when I wrote yesterday's post I admit I was enjoying a perfectly chilled bottle of extraordinarily fine Rhenish white wine], I was not getting particularly “excited” that not all numismatists in the US think like the mouthpieces of the dealers’ lobbying group the ACCG. I actually believe that not all US coin collectors are so oafish and so unconcerned as the Merry Men of the ACCG. In fact I suspect that if the truth were known, it would be found that such radicals are in a minority in the US numismatic milieu as a whole. Obviously though my pointing out here that there are other opinions within it touched a raw nerve with the ACCG.

Secondly, I note what Tompa does not point out. In Stahl’s letter we find written:
There are many aspects in which coins are like any other
archaeological artifact
and deserve the same protections accorded to other classes of artifact
He also points out the damage done to archaeological and numismatic knowledge by exploitation of sites for saleable collectables (using Morgantina as an example). He also writes:
Ancient people sometimes secreted their hoards within or near their homes; such a hoard would be part of a larger archaeological context”.
Oh dear, that is not what the ACCG spokesmen say, is it? ACCG Spokesmen like Californian coin dealer Dave Welsh claim that collectable coins come from hoards which are always buried away from settlements. Maybe the US government can call upon Dr Stahl rather than a dealer as an expert witness when the question comes up in the ACCG coin stunt case of whether coins are archaeological artifacts or not.

For Mr Tompa however the key point of Dr Stahl's letter to the CPAC is the "proposal" he makes therein ("to Cyprus" - in fact he seems only to have sent it to the US CPAC) . Let's look at it in the next post.

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